April 10, 2004
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA, BRYAN-BRYAN/Bjorkman-Johansson 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Bob, I'm sure everybody's going to be talking for the next few days about the shot between the legs. You always see that as a drive rather than a lob.
BOB BRYAN: I mean, I don't want to give away my strategy, but I always go for the lob (laughter)... I probably got it six or seven times in the last two years, and I won every point.
Q. How often do you practice that shot?
BOB BRYAN: I don't, I don't. But I saw Mansour Bahrami hit the between-the-legs lob. He's the one that I kind of emulate when I go back there.
Q. Have you ever nearly damaged yourself hitting that shot?
BOB BRYAN: We've practiced it . We probably put in 200 hours practicing that shot from the ages of about eight to twelve. So we got it down pretty good (inaudible).
Q. Patrick, are you feeling a little more comfortable right now, 2-1, than yesterday?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I'm feeling more comfortable than when it was 0-1, yeah. But I felt pretty comfortable last night, obviously. As I said last night, having Andy Roddick come out when you're 0-1 down, he's a good guy to have. Having these guys come out when you're 1-all or 0-2 or whatever it is, it's also a good situation to be in. We felt confident going into today. We knew it was going to be a tough match. Even though it was straight sets, I think it was closer than the score indicated. But it was still, you know, a pretty convincing win for us. Certainly, we feel good going into tomorrow, yeah.
Q. How does it feel to put it on Andy's racquet now, Bob?
BOB BRYAN: It feels great. I wouldn't want any other guy coming out there, you know, first out tomorrow. It's gonna be really fun for us after, you know, kind of releasing this pressure to go out there and just root our guts out for Andy. Yesterday, we didn't really root the hardest because of the sun. We had to get ready for this match, hydrated and massaged. It's going to be really fun just to go out there, get our pom-poms out, and go crazy (laughter).
MIKE BRYAN: Blow horns.
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, blow the horns.
Q. Patrick, in the middle of one of these Bryan brother matches, is there time to personally reflect on the joy of these two guys playing tennis out there?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: We enjoy it. They genuinely love it. They love the competition. We have fun in practice, you know. We have fun every day. It's competitive, but in a positive sort of way. So it's great. I think even when they're playing in a tough match, in a tight situation, they always still joke and they joke with each other and get into it. So it makes it special. It's a lot of fun. It's always a little better to win than to lose.
Q. Patrick, did you go into the match intending to pick on Johansson? It looks like that's what ultimately happened.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, sure. I mean, you go into a match with a game plan, and you see how it develops. I thought Johansson actually came out returning great. He's got a lot of power off the ground. But, obviously, he hasn't played that much doubles. He's certainly a little more susceptible than Jonas. But then again, Jonas is one of the best doubles players in the world. So it's almost Jonas and anybody, when they're both at the net, you pick on the other guy. That was certainly part of the game plan.
Q. If, for any reason, tomorrow it falls to Mardy, it goes into that, how do you settle him down after yesterday's loss?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, he's settled down. I think Mardy recovers pretty well. He's had some losses before and some wins in Davis Cup. So he's recovering well. He went out and hit today and felt pretty good. You know, he knows he's got to be ready to go tomorrow. Obviously, we're confident going into the fourth match, but he knows that he needs to be ready.
Q. Did you expect it to be a longer match? It went pretty smooth. Mike and Bob, before, were you thinking a four- or five-set match?
MIKE BRYAN: I mean, we were expecting a tough match. We obviously want it to be straight sets. I thought if we played really well, it was going to be straight sets. But as you saw there, we dot gown a break. And a couple sets, it could have gone either way. Jonas might not have been 100 percent today because of the singles yesterday. And we're jumping on the return - I think Bob made 92 percent of the returns.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: You made 88.
MIKE BRYAN: I made 88. When we're doing that, we're going to be tough to beat. So, I mean, we're happy with the way it went.
Q. Patrick, does Jonas' recent performance against Andy Roddick give you any cause for concern tomorrow?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Sure. I mean, his play yesterday gives me cause for concern. But as we just talked about, he played a four-setter yesterday. He played a tough three sets today. I don't care how fresh you are, even if you're fresh, going out to play Andy Roddick tomorrow is going to be a physically demanding match for anybody. I think that gives us confidence, knowing the type of game that Andy will play. In addition to just his firepower in his game, just the physical type of game that he's going to bring to the table is going to be difficult to deal with.
Q. Patrick, obviously, nobody knows what's happening, but as a fellow coach or captain, do you see Mats maybe taking Jonas out tomorrow or going with him?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: We're not really concerned with it, to be honest. I mean, either way, the bottom line is Andy Roddick is going to be stepping on the court. So whoever they got, you know, bring'em on.
Q. Would you be surprised to see if he changes?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I wouldn't be that surprised. I wouldn't be that surprised. I think as it is, I think it's a question of how Jonas feels tomorrow probably when he gets out and hits. He's certainly capable of giving Andy trouble. I mean, he's beaten him before. He played a good three-set match with him in Miami. So he certainly is capable of giving him problems. But he's not capable of giving him problems if he's tired. I mean, then he's not. So that's something that, you know, they're going to have to decide in the morning.
Q. Mike, can you comment on the dispute of whether or not the ball touched one of you, Jonas raised?
MIKE BRYAN: You mean when it bounced off my hand (laughter)? I don't know the rule. I was, you know, trying to reflex and it came super fast. It hit my finger/grip and it went over. I was asking Pat, I thought...
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: He thought the hand was part of the racquet.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Clearly got up with him.
MIKE BRYAN: We lost the point, so...
Q. How long have you been doing that little chest bump after wins, and what started that?
MIKE BRYAN: We've been doing it -- we started probably in college at Stanford, you know. We love playing there. The other fraternity brothers would come out, the crowds were pumped. I think we just pulled it out. We saw the Jensens do it somewhere. We broke it out. And then everyone wanted it again, so we just kept doing it all the way through college. Then we brought it on the tour. Fans are liking it.
BOB BRYAN: We go back to Stanford every once in a while and watch the team play. All the guys are doing it now for Stanford. Love that tradition.
MIKE BRYAN: "The Bryan Bump."
Q. Over the course of time there's been some awesome doubles combinations that have played for the United States. It's been important in consistency. In your scheme of trying to bring the United States Davis Cup program back to respectability...
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: "Respectability"? I think it's respectable.
Q. You know, to be...
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: To win maybe would be nice, okay.
Q. To have that consistency, comment on how important it is to have doubles players like this.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, the doubles point is crucial, particularly for the US. I mean, you look at the US's record in history. When they win the doubles point, I think we win about 90 percent of the ties when we win the doubles. Obviously, we, the US, over the years normally have very good singles players. So if you win the doubles point, that means you just have to win two out of four matches. When you've got top singles players, that means that percentages probably will favor you. So the short answer to your question is it's huge; it's huge to have these guys step up as they've done in the last year and a half and rise up, you know, not only on the tour but in their Davis Cup matches. I think it takes a lot of pressure off our singles guys, you know, mentally. I think that's made a big difference, in addition to them winning, which is obviously the A-1 thing. I think the singles guys now come in knowing what they've got to do and what their role is and knowing, come Sunday, that, you know, these guys are going to come to play.
Q. Will you guys give Andy a chest bump if he wins tomorrow?
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, I don't know if he -- does he like that?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I don't know.
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, definitely. Come flying out of the crowd (smiling). If he's up for it, yeah, we'll give it to him.
Q. Do you relate to the Hanson brothers' slap shot?
BOB BRYAN: The Hanson brothers? Who are those guys? Twins?
Q. Triplets, actually.
BOB BRYAN: I don't know who those guys are. Not a big hockey fan.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Bring them the movie, they'll watch it on their max.
Q. Question for Bob and Mike. How have you been able to avoid kind of the siren song of singles, it gets so much more attention, and either of you could be fine singles players? What has kept you guys concentrating on doubles?
MIKE BRYAN: I think our goals. I mean, we wanted to be on the Davis Cup team. We know we wanted to be No. 1 in the world. We've always loved doubles. Even back in the day when we were 6, 7, 8 years old, we were working on doubles drills. We had doubles idols. Most guys used to look up to Agassi, Sampras. We looked up to the Jensen brothers, Rick Leach. So we've always had our eyes set on doubles. Right now, we're loving it. We're in the top of the game. We love this Davis Cup shot Pat's given us, and we want to be around as long as possible.
Q. Bob, you had Agassi photos all over your bedroom wall, right?
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, we loved Agassi, too. We played singles up until pretty much this year. I don't think I played a match -- I played one match. But doubles came along first, and we get so much satisfaction out of winning a doubles match, I mean, we get to share it together, we're out here traveling together. People like to watch us play doubles. We get more notoriety for winning a doubles match, you know. Sometimes people can care less if I win a singles match. So we're loving this. And, you know, we're just going to keep playing doubles. I think we're going to play singles - if we get an opportunity, we're going to play. But right now, we got a lot of doubles goals we want to try and achieve.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Ever see Agassi play doubles, by the way? (Inaudible) if he was into it.
Q. Patrick, do you see anyone else in this tie as fit as Bjorkman?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: As fit?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Yeah, I do.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Andy Roddick.
Q. Anyone else?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Bob and Mike Bryan (laughter).
Q. Mike, is there a time during the day, maybe around 10:00 p.m., 10:30, when you guys calm down and are not jumping around?
MIKE BRYAN: I mean...
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: What did I tell you yesterday, last night, Charlie?
Q. You said they're hyper at breakfast. That's not 10:30 in the evening.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: That's right.
MIKE BRYAN: This whole week we've been itching to play. It's been hard to practice. We got here on a Sunday and just been looking to that Saturday the whole time. Been itching to play all week, and it's actually tough. You know, we want to play with a lot of energy and we're going to bring it definitely every Davis Cup match we play, because you never know how many you're going to play. We definitely play better when we're pumped up. We're not like that off the court. We just like to bring the crowd into it, and looking up there and seeing that sea of people is going to make you jump around.
Q. Is that true, Patrick? They're not like that off the court?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, they mellow out. It takes a while. But they're pretty hyper. They're pretty hyper. But they love life, you know. They enjoy it, so... We have fun.
Q. Randy was telling us that he thinks there's only been a few weeks in your whole lives that you've been separated. Do you ever get tired of one another (laughter)?
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, we definitely do. Sometimes that hurts us, but it's never going to hurt us in a Davis Cup match. It's too important. It's too precious. I think if we would have got broken that many times - we got broken three times - maybe in a smaller tour event that would have brought us down or we would have got on each other. But in Davis Cup, we get broken, and Mike doesn't say one word to me, I don't say one word to him, we just focus on the next point. I think that just shows how important that match is. And none of that brotherly bickering is ever going to come into the match during a Davis Cup match for us.
Q. Do you think you can apply that, then, to other tournaments?
BOB BRYAN: To other tournaments? Yeah, I mean, it's a long year. We've been doing a lot better with that, and that's why we're No. 1 in the world. But, you know, it's a long year (smiling). He pisses me off sometimes, so...(Laughter). It's gonna affect us. We're human.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.